Final Exam Study Guide Textbook Notes + Lecture Notes

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MSCI 211 Notes
Chapter 1: What is Organizational Behaviour?
Organizational Behaviour:
A field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups, and structure on
behaviour within organizations
Behaviour is what people do in the organization, how they perform, and what their
attitudes are
Organizations are consciously coordinated social units composed of groups of people
functioning on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common set of goals
Aim is to apply knowledge toward improving organizational effectiveness (manage well)
Provides a systematic approach to the study of behaviour in organizations with the
underlying belief that behaviour is not random
Systematic Study- Examination of behaviour in order to draw conclusions, based on
scientific evidence about causes and effects in relationships
Building Blocks of OB:
1. Psychology
2. Sociology
3. Social Psychology
4. Anthropology
5. Political Science
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Consistency in behaviour, if found, can be used to predict behaviour; it is a result of written
and unwritten rules (ex. drivers mostly influenced by written rules of road; what we do when
on an elevator – i.e. turn to face doors – is unwritten)
Common sense is not always the same for everyone; if understanding behaviour were
simply common sense, we would not observe many of the problems that occur in the
workplace (ex. bullying in workplace)
OB looks beyond common sense; it looks at relationships, attempt to attribute causes and
effects, and base its conclusion on scientific evidence (i.e. not relying on common sense)
OB has few absolutes (universal principles) if any
Contingency Approach:
Considers behaviour in context in which it occurs
Predictions about behaviour are probabilistic, not absolute
X given Y Z, where Y are the contingency variables; X does not necessarily cause Z
on its own
Research Methods:
Dependent Variable- a response that is affected by an independent variable; the variable
that the researcher is interested in explaining
Independent Variable- the presumed cause of some change in the dependent variable
Moderating Variable- abates the effect of the independent variable on the dependent
Hypothesis- a tentative explanation (relationship) that is tested by the empirical research
Correlation Coefficient- the relationship between the two variables
Causality- direction of cause and effect
Theory/Model- a set of systematically interrelated concepts or hypotheses that purports
to explain and predict phenomena
Sources of Research Insight in OB:
Case Study- looking in-depth at single situations
Field Survey- using questionnaires and interviews in sample populations
Laboratory Experiment/Studies- in simulated and controlled settings
Field Experiment/Studies- in real-life organizations
Meta-Analysis (Aggregate Quantitative Reviews)- using statistics to pool results of
different studies
Managers who know about OB can lead people to greater organizational
Individuals who know about OB can interact with other individuals in the organization better
OB is for everyone – line between managers and employees becoming blurred
Competing Values Framework:
Internal- inwardly, toward
employee needs and concerns
and/or production processes
and internal systems
External- outwardly, toward
such factors as the marketplace,
government regulations, and the
changing social, environmental,
and technological conditions of
the future
Flexibility- flexible and dynamic,
allowing more teamwork and
Control – controlling or stable,
maintaining status quo and
exhibiting less change
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Basic Organizational Behaviour Model:
3. Organization Systems Level- political science, sociology,
Group Level- social psychology, sociology, anthropology
1. Individual Level-
Ex. Charity is recognized on all levels
1. individual: giving time and money
2. group: comparative values
3. organizational: corporate social responsibility (CSR), tax credit credibility
Challenges in the Workplace:
1. At the individual level
Individual differences (diversity, personality, perception, values, attitudes)
Job satisfaction (productivity relationship is questionable)
Empowerment (managers giving employees responsibility for their actions)
Behaving ethically
2. At the group level
Working with others (interpersonal skills)
Workforce diversity (gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, age and
demographic characteristics such as education and socio-economic status)
recognizing differences (instead of treating everyone the same) in ways that ensure
employee retention and greater productivity and not discriminating against certain
3. At the organizational level
Productivity (a performance measure including effectiveness and efficiency)
Developing effective employees (see OCB)
Putting people first (to generate a committed workforce and positively affect the
bottom line give more control/say to employees, provide security, hire well, pay
well, reduce status differences – flatter organization, share about all organizational
Global competition (US, Europe, Japan, China – reduce costs, increase productivity,
improve quality sends jobs abroad / outsourcing enabled by developing
managing and working in a multicultural world
Ethics- Study of moral values or principles
Effectiveness- Achievement of goals
Efficiency- Ratio of effective output to input required to produce the work
Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)- Discretionary behaviour that is not part of an
employee’s formal job requirements, but that nevertheless promotes the effective functioning
of the organization goes beyond usual job description (ex. welcoming new employee and
helping them when its not in your job description)
Chapter 2: Perception, Personality, and Emotions
The process by which individuals organize and interpret their impressions in order to give
meaning to their environment
Important because people’s behaviour is based on their perception of what reality is, not
on reality itself; the world as it is perceived is the world that is behaviourally important
Helps us better understand how people make attributions about events
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